12/3/18

Coming in 2019…A Podcast for Children’s Trucker Stories

Children’s Grandpa and the Truck, books 1 and 2 glorify a trucker’s interesting life, as he goes about his job of transporting households across the United States. You see, our trucker/hero went to EVERY SINGLE STATE except one (do you know which one a trucker and his big rig can’t travel to?)

He became a trucker because he hated his first job. At 18 years of age, he was a roofer in Arkansas, smearing hot tar on roofs in punishing 120 degree heat. So, when he got the chance to become a delivery person for the conveyor truck (it conveyed or carried the products of shingles, tar, nails, brushes to the site), he jumped at it. What’d he learn? He was a natural trucker.

Now, as a long-haul trucker, a person learns a lot about our country–the cities..the rural areas…the different accents people have…their customs. He became an expert in geography who recognized the mighty rivers..the mountain ranges, the oceans. He learned about climate with ice-slicked roads..impenetrable fog…floods…hurricanes…tornadoes.

Sometimes he witnessed events that become historically important (the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969) when thousands of young people converged on a dairy farm in upstate New York and stayed there 3 days!! (I’ll bet you didn’t know New York had farms?) I’ll bet you didn’t even know the town where it happened wasn’t really Woodstock but its sister town of Bethel, New York? (Don’t feel bad–nobody knows that.)

Yep, truckers see things no one else does because they are on America’s highways, traveling everywhere.

And they form clubs of sorts…groups of fellow truckers, the men and women who do this tough job everyday of bringing to us every single product that we use (Look around your house and realize that the couch…the chair…the lamp…your computer..your clothes..your medicines…your food…everything was brought in by truckers.) Truckers have a very unique lifestyle, talking to each other on their CB radios, visiting Truck Stops where they refuel, wash their trucks, do laundry, rent a bed, play games, socialize.

I’m going to tell you all about this fascinating lifestyle, so that when a big rig passes you by, you’ll understand how unique these people are. When you hear the airhorn or the jake brake, you’ll know an 18-wheeler is nearby. You’ll envision their home away from home–the cab or tractor that pulls the trailer.  Some have inground swimming pools in them (I’m kidding!!) But they are pretty fancy!

You’ll hear of the great danger these men and women sometimes face, whether from nature or an even more threatening force–human beings–the crazy drivers out there who whip in and out of lanes or slam on their brakes last minute and expect a heavy 18-wheeler, fully loaded can stop on a dime!!!

You’ll hear their special language–at least the words I CAN share with you. Trucker lingo. You’ll hear their greatest fears. And the things they love best about this crazy job.

Finally you’ll learn that even if you hate math, you need to learn some of it to do their job because truckers use math skills every single day, on their jobs. I’ll explain how.

But our journey will be fun. I’ll be sharing the great geographic differences our country has that only truckers fully appreciate (cuz they’ve seen it all.)

It’s long overdue.

P.S. Our trucker’s nickname (truckers like to give each other those, too) is “Gater” because his last name was Gates. That’s “Gater” in the cartoon illustration and the real one, here, with a big rig. He nicknamed his truck, too (I’ll be telling you that, too.)…Stay tuned. The oral stories begin after Christmas, in the New Year–2019–when we finally give truckers the credit they deserve.

To order these books for the holidays, you must do so before December 12 (so why not do it today?) I can personalize to the child and sign them as author if you leave your wishes in the “Special instructions” section. I hope you’re on board for this exciting journey. Sign on so you don’t miss any of these stories……

12/9/16

Grandpa and the Truck goes on the Road (when I Guest-Speak)

Latest Reviews of My Guest-Speaking

Dear Colleen,st-lukes

“What a wonderful day we had at Leisure Learning. Everyone was so impressed with your presentation! You have inspired many from the youngest to the oldest.  You know from the audience’s response you held their attention to the very end. I am so proud that I was able to introduce you….” (photo is of St. Luke’s Peirce St., East Greenwich, where I spoke.)

From Eleanor Keating (the woman who booked me), Leisure Learning, East Greenwich, RI

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The following is from Director of two elder-living sites in West Warwick where Colleen spoke this fall. Colleen’s now invited to the third site this director oversees in Johnston for a presentation in 2017:

Colleen Mellor and her husband were guest speakers at two of our elder living sites this fall… Plaza Esperanza in West Warwick and another visit to Wildberry Apartments.

“Our experience with Colleen Mellor was extraordinary!

“Colleen was funny and very entertaining. She was a burst of energy for our elder residents.  She inspired them to consider the history of their lives and to be their own memory keepers. Colleen engaged the residents to reminisce…

“I look forward to hosting Colleen and her husband again at our other senior housing sites. Not only is she a wonderful guest speaker, but she is also a genuinely kind person.”

Lucy Goulet, CRSC

Housing Opportunities Corporation

I not only speak. The audience bought my Grandpa and the Truck books, too. We can offer them on our website until Dec. 18 and then cannot guarantee shipment in time for Christmas or other holiday. I can personalize by child’s name if you add in Paypal instructions and I sign as author (how cool is that?) Your intended child gets actual author-signed book, one backed for authenticity by biggest trucking group, OOIDA, and Women in Trucking (WIT) and recommended by teachers, parents, and kids!books-for-yard-sale And contact me if you wish guest-speaker. I’m loving my new role…and apparently audiences do, too.

For children’s books, go to http://www.grandpaandthetruck.com

 

 

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10/26/16

Trucker Books (and the Trucker) a Big Hit with All Ages

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Trucker/husband Paul Wesley Gates and I went before two audiences last week where we had a ball. While at one, a woman came up , tapped my husband on his arm, and said: “You look just like Roy Rogers.”

I laughed, inwardly, as I thought:  “That must make me Dale Evans.”

I get why she said it. He’s tall, lanky, with a Southern drawl (he’s a long-ago transplant from Arkansas who got here as a Navy Seabee.) As such, he’s a great favorite of the ladies. It helps that he wears a western hat, cowboy boots, and a leather vest with insignia sewn on.

I freely admit:  I use him for my presentations.

You see, I write about his adventures in our children’s books, Grandpa and the Truck (Books 1 and 2), for he was a long-haul, big rig driver who went all over the United States, moving households. Our books are the perfect vehicle (pun intended) to teach geography, regional differences, dialect, trucker lingo (the words we can safely use). Each story comes with guide questions, maps showing where the truck is, a moral (remember—I’m a teacher) and table of contents.

To date, we’ve published two colorfully-illustrated books, and we give lively presentations to children, too.  Our biggest audience was a 200-child school gathering in Tiverton, RI.

How we doing? Our colorful books fly out the door, at these presentations, with women who recognize their value….author-signed books recommended by teachers and truckers.

If you order your own now, we get them to you before the holidays….

#truckers #bigrigdrivers #kidstruckbooks

07/13/16

Note to Truckers and Teachers!

trucker and cabIf you like what we do–then please support our efforts.

We are the ONLY stories written for little kids by a 30-year trucker who won awards for his expertise and his author partner (her work appears in Wall St. Journal, Providence Journal, and a host of others.) In addition, she’s a 30-year teacher.

And we’re endorsed by the two biggest trucker groups–OOIDA and WIT.

So, if you support American truckers and they hard job they perform, support our books by buying them.

We sign as author and personalize to a specific child if you put that in the instructions.

We cannot produce the rest of our series (6 more books, each set in different geographic regions) without your support.

Why should teachers support us, too? Grandpa and the Truck books are written by a teacher, and teach geography (and a whole lot more.) We’ve included table of contents, questions, maps, trucker terms.

This fall the author will begin a series of auditory books–the stories she and her husband have created.

Help us bring to the public the very real and exciting life of the American trucker. You can do this by ordering books from this website. They make great children’s gifts and help the image of the American Trucker.

01/27/16

On the Road of Life

How “Grandpa and the Truck” books…a hospital database manager, and a seriously-injured trucker and his wife came together on life’s journey.john brown house author night

In Hawaii, a few years ago, I met California’s Colleen McGuinn at a luau when my husband and I visited the ONLY state this long-haul trucker had never been to (we tell school children audiences: “There are no water wings sizable enough to float a big rig.”)

While there, we got to talking about a long-haul trucker’s life…the hurdles…the excitement (pic to right shows us explaining, at a book show, what truckers do for America.)

Flash forward to December 2015, when McGuinn heard from Indiana sister-in-law Carolyn Bledsoe that Carolyn’s 72-year-old trucker friend, Jerry Matson and his wife, Janet, faced a medical crisis.

While grabbing some well-deserved shut-eye in the cab, of his big rig, in Oakland, California, Jerry was attacked by a gun-wielding assailant who broke in and shot him in the stomach. A former soldier, the trucker lunged forward and warded off his attacker who fled. But Matson suffered serious injury.

At his first hospital, he fared poorly. Infections raged and his wife, a retired ER nurse, saw little improvement. A local TV station stated that wife Janet slept in local hotels and on one occasion ‘in her car.’

When Database Manager for Saint Francis Foundation, Colleen McGuinn heard of their plight, she recalled the Grandpa and the Truck authors she met in Hawaii and set in motion a plan to help. With the approval of McGuinn’s boss, Kevin Causey, Foundation Board Chair, Tom Klein, Case Manager, Sara Lee, Linda Newton and Darlene Brady, Jerry Matson was moved into Saint Francis’s Burn Unit (because of type of wound he sustained); he was given a skin graft; and he is now on the road to full recovery.

And Janet? She’s been moved to a hotel, with room and meals for one full month, paid for by the Foundation.

Just one example of the larger community and a special hospital stepping up to help a trucker family in need. Here’s the TV station story, and pic of Database Manager, Colleen McGuinn, is below.

colleen mcguinnAs one voice representing trucker nation, Grandpa and the Truck thanks you, Colleen McGuinn and your colleagues, for your significant part in all that transpired.

(Readers:  Got your own story of a long-haul trucker who either got or gave unselfish help? Send the contact info to us… We’ll write it up and publish….If we’re personally involved, we’ll like it even better!)

#truckers, #long-haultruckers, #saintfrancisfoundation

And if you want autographed/personalized books for little ones, order them, by going to the right of this column, and clicking “Buy Now.”

Thank you. We work to get a positive image of our nation’s truckers out there…